Skylar Laine got into the holiday spirit with a few Christmas carols and a new song when the American Idol Season 11 finalist flipped the switch lighting up Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn. Friday night.
Laine, who appeared with several young patients from St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, sang holiday standards such as "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," and a song widely associated with Elvis Presely, "Blue Christmas."
"I can't get as low as Elvis, but I'm going to do my best," the congenial vocalist told a spirited audience.
She praised the King of Rock's vocal style in an interview prior to the performance.
"Elvis is amazing, not just for his Christmas music but for all his music, because of the way he sings and the vibrato that he has in his voice...nobody else has that. It's something unique," she told WREG News 3.
The Brandon, Miss. native also gave an update on her debut CD, which she said is not moving forward as quickly as other contestants' albums.
"It's going a little bit slower, but we're working towards it," she said.
The fifth place finalist unveiled one of her new songs, "Settle Down," at the ceremony. Laine cowrote the song with Chris Destefano, who has written for Idol alums including Carrie Underwood ("Good Girl"); Kris Allen (Shut That Door (And Keep that Devil Out)" and "Turn the Pages"); David Cook ("This Is Not The Last Time"); and Haley Reinhart ("Now That You're Here").
With the lyrics, "my cousin's on her second baby/and my ex is on his second wife," the song centers on a protagonist torn between dreams and familial expectations.
"It's about going off from your home town, and your parents want you to settle down, but you know one day you'll come back," she told the crowd.
Laine is signed with 19 Management, and has been working with several Nashville-based songwriters, including Nathan Chapman, Brett James, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Jeremy Stover, and Chris Tompkins.
Watch some video of Laine at Graceland, including "Settle Down," "Blue Christmas," and "Winter Wonderland," below.
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- Skylar Laine
- Christmas carols